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Ice melting products lose effectiveness in deep cold

Ice melt
John Burton
Ice melt

With temperatures as cold as they are, some types of driveway salt just stop working.

Experts say that standard driveway salt is only effective at the bare minimum 15-20 degrees, so with air temperatures below zero, there are still other options.

The driveway salt struggles to break up the ice because with extreme cold, it's tougher on the salt to be able to break down the water molecules in the ice.

That's when most turn to stronger ice melts such as magnesium or calcium chloride, but the downside is they're even more harmful to the environment.

Wisconsin Salt Wise recommends, if you can, to break up the ice with a large scraper or shovel to push it aside and then pour some sand over the removed ice for extra traction.

"Look to use mechanical means or manual means to move that ice. Things like the ultimate scraper that you can use to really chop through and get a good blade underneath the ice," said Wisconsin Salt Wise program manager, Allison Madison.

Salt Wise says that to much ice melt is damaging to the infrastructure of the city and the water system.

It's important that if one uses stronger melting chemicals to limit the usage.

That depends on the brand of the ice melt, but there should be instructions on the bag.

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